Big, beautiful, cost-effective prints, up to 13x19 inches
For several years now, I’ve printed most of my images with the Epson Stylus Photo 2200, and it has been very good to me. When I had an opportunity to use the large-format Epson Stylus Photo 1400, I found it delivered colorful, archival-quality prints, with the added bonus of direct printing on CDs and DVDs—all at a list price of $399. Remarkable.
This fast, versatile tele-zoom lens adds to your shooting options
Transitioning quickly from one shot to the next using a variety of focal lengths—it’s one of the features I appreciate most in the new APO 50-150mm ƒ/2.8 EX DC HSM telephoto zoom lens from Sigma. One moment you can get down low to compose a close-up of a lizard and the next you can zoom in tight on a bird about to burst into flight 50 feet away. In addition to its quick response time, the Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) autofocus is remarkably silent. And the manual focus override switch makes changing from one mode to the other simple, even while shooting.
Storing images in your digital camera has never been faster or cheaper. We‚’ll take you through the current selection of cards and options.
Digital memory cards just keep getting better and cheaper. Digital SLRs, camcorders and other multimegapixel cameras require memory cards that deliver very large storage capacity and high performance in terms of read and write speed. Noncamera applications and other digital devices—cell phones and PDAs in particular—require storage media that’s very small and thin. The memory-card industry has met and exceeded all of these requirements. Meanwhile, fierce competition among card makers for market share has kept retail prices surprisingly low.
The 7.2-megapixel compact Samsung L74 Wide has a 3.6x optical zoom starting at a 35mm equivalent of 28mm. A three-inch touch-screen LCD makes navigating through the menu system easy and intuitive, while the World Tour Guide function (with travel information covering 4500 regions in 30 countries) helps you plan trips and navigate on the road. At just 4x2.4x0.8 inches and six ounces, the camera is a great size for hiking around within the backcountry.
The most compact and lowest-priced Nikon D-SLR ever is a good one
Long renowned for its high-end pro film and digital cameras, Nikon has now introduced one of the lowest-priced D-SLRs ever. The new D40 is an entry-level model with simple operation, very good performance, lots of features and a list price less than $600, including an 18-55mm Nikkor zoom lens. It’s also light and compact, so you can carry the D40 on just about any outdoor photography outing.
Ten must-have Photoshop add-ons for nature photographers
Adobe Photoshop is the best thing that has happened to photography since the discovery of glass. And the plug-in is the best thing that has happened to Photoshop. Since Adobe opened its architecture by defining the plug-in format, more than 1,000 useful plug-ins have appeared on the market. Some extend Photoshop’s power, others make routine tasks easier, and still others provide new options and tools. No matter what level you’ve reached as a photographer, Photoshop plug-ins are an integral part of your post-processing life—or should be.
Every winter, the major manufacturers and distributors of photographic gear gather at the huge PMA trade show to announce and present their latest equipment. Put on by the Photo Marketing Association International, the event allows photo dealers and retailers to see all the gear in one place, which helps magazines like ours, too. This special edition of In Focus offers a sampling of the products we saw at the show in Las Vegas.
Compact super-zoom cameras offer tremendous telephotos in portable packages
Although photographers seem to always search for it, there’s no perfect camera. Some seek a compact size over all else, while others are willing to lug around larger camera kits to ensure they’re always ready with the right lenses. While there’s no one-size-fits-all camera, there is one camera category that does a remarkable job of pleasing a lot of people in a lot of ways.
Capture crisp, high-definition video with an affordable, palm-sized camera. The Canon HV20 camcorder features a 10x optical zoom lens, 2.96-megapixel CMOS image sensor and DIGIC DV II image processor for shooting full HD resolution (1920 x 1080i) video with true-to-life color. The 24p Cinema Mode helps your footage look more like a professional film. The HV20 also comes with a microphone and earphone jacks, plus you can opt to record in standard definition mode.
Now is the most popular time of year to take to the trails and campsites of America. Having the right gear will keep you outdoors in comfort and safety.
Serious outdoor photography tends to be a gear-intensive pursuit, not just with camera equipment, but also with the tools it takes to safely and comfortably scout the great outdoors. The shelter, footwear, clothing, gadgets and other outdoor accessories you choose can be just as important as your photo equipment in helping you get the right images—a fact to which anyone who has ever shivered themselves awake in a lousy sleeping bag or endured a leaky, drafty tent will attest. If you haven’t shopped for outdoor equipment lately, you’re in for a surprise. It’s lighter and more functional than ever, even if there’s the occasional associated sticker shock. When it comes to chasing the best outdoor photo situations, you’ll be glad you’re properly outfitted with items like these.
9-megapixel RAW capture with an optical 10.7x zoom
It’s amazing just how much is expected of a basic camera today. Fujifilm’s loaded FinePix S9100, successor to the S9500, does its best to raise expectations even more with an array of impressive features.
A versatile lens with a fast aperture and popular focal length for D-SLRs
When we all shot film, one of the favorite focal lengths for a macro lens was 105mm. Sigma’s new 70mm ƒ/2.8 macro lens fits that tradition for digital cameras. All photographers using digital SLRs with small-format, APS-C-sized sensors will find that this lens acts like a 105mm lens with a 35mm camera because of the crop or multiply factor.
A hard drive/viewer that lets you leave the laptop at home
Though my wife believes my laptop is permanently tethered to my body, there are times when I don’t want to tote around my computer. Such a time is when I’m out shooting in the field. But since I still want to back up my digital files before I get home, the Epson P-5000 Multimedia Storage Viewer provides a good way to both secure and share my images.
Back up and review your images in the field with handheld media devices
Last summer at the Bronx Zoo, I overheard a seasoned professional photographer explaining his Epson multimedia storage viewer to a zoo employee. "I used to work with an assistant," he said. "Now I use this. Best part is, it never oversleeps."
Quickly import, organize, manage and showcase large volumes of your digital photographs using Adobe Lightroom. With powerful workflow tools and a streamlined user interface, Lightroom processes your images nondestructively in RAW, JPEG and TIFF. All of the tasks you see in the main interface—Library, Develop, Slideshow, Print and Web—are designed to act as independent modules so you have full, intuitive control. Tools include a precision white-balance selection option, tone curve adjustment for making midtone, shadow and highlight modifications, and search presets for quicker image retrieval. Lightroom is compatible with Photoshop CS2 and Elements, and works with Macintosh- and Windows-based systems.